Yes, the audio clip being circulated purporting to be the voice of Maulana Saad, the current head of the Nizamuddin faction of the Tablighi Jamaat, asking Muslims to fill the Masjids and confront the virus through congregational prayer, negates all the press statements being issued from the Markaz. This is not to deny that the local administration failed to act in time and shuttle the remaining visitors to safe zones.
However, it must be made known that Maulana Saad has had the dubious distinction of being a hot-head; and his antics have already distanced him from some of the senior-most Tablighi workers, many of whom were involved with the Movement from five decades and more.
It was his belligerent attitude, even involving the use of goons to bash up his detractors physically, that compelled many senior and sagacious leaders, those who sacrificed their entire lives and wealth for spreading the message of peace, to quietly slip out of Nizamuddin and operate on their own. Some great da’aees (missionaries), simply withdrew to their homes, so as to not fan the flames of dissension, in conformity with some of the Prophetic teachings.
A good example is the Bangalore Tablighi Jamaat who have, very reluctantly broken away and carry on the work with zest and commitment all over Karnataka, never indulging in mud-slinging.
Similarly, the hugely popular spokesman of the Jamaat, Maulana Tariq Jameel, has distanced himself from Maulana Saad.
Maulana Tariq Jameel’s unequivocal statements on the need to adopt social distancing, in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, has been widely circulated and is available online. His speech was released before the statement of Maulana Saad.
Importantly, the famous Muslim seminary, Darul Uloom Deoband, also took issue with Maulana Saad on account of some deviant statements of his.
To this day, he is a scorned man among the senior scholars of Deoband.
This says a lot about the overall Muslim stand concerning Maulana Saad.
Incidentally, the kind of aberration we see in the person of Maulana Saad is not new.
The Qur’an reproduces the statement of Prophet Musa (AS) when he was faced with some foolish leaders among his flock. The statement of exasperation by Prophet Musa (AS) sums up the consternation of the entire Muslim community in the face of the highly irresponsible statement of Maulana Saad.
Here is what Prophet Musa (AS) said, in the words of the Qur’an, in Surah Al-A’raf, verse 155:
أَتُهْلِكُنَا بِمَا فَعَلَ السُّفَهَاءُ مِنَّا
(“Would You destroy us for what the foolish among us have done?”)
The author, Noor Mohammed Khalid is a former IT Professional turned research scholar. He is currently pursuing a PhD in history from the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM). Some of his research work can be accessed on his website, Turkiye ve Hindistan.
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